Saturday, November 27, 2010

All tucked in, nice and cozy.

It's the end of another season. My garden has gone from this: this:

I always feel a bit wistful at the end of each season, particularly as fall moves into winter. It does help, though, to look ahead to another spring.

It's the time of year to plant more of those "Hope Flowers" I mentioned awhile back.

Springtime in the form of a sleeping bulb is tucked snug in it's bed, along with several dozen brothers and sisters.

The thought of that helps warm my soul throughout the winter.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A couple of little happy tidbits

Tidbit #1: Bloglines is BACK!!! A new company has agreed to take over the operations of the Bloglines Reader from It was supposed to be closed forever, and I was frantically moving my subscriptions elsewhere. To me, Bloglines is the most user friendly RSS reader, so I am very happy with the news!!!

Tidbit #2: (If you are my friend on facebook you can skip this one since this proud mom has already trumpeted the news.) My son Jimmy has been obsessively programming an app for iphone, working in collaboration with a college friend. The app is known as Pocket Percussion teacher. Three days ago it was accepted by Apple and released on the Apple Store. It has been selling extremely well, and the ratings are starting to come in. They are wonderfully positive!!! So, naturally I am thrilled, and proud and happy for Robbie and Jim.

Well, I guess there is a Tidbit #3, but is not on my happy list. The same day that the iphone app came out, we learned we have a major plumbing leak under the house that is going to cost us beaucoup bucks. It is in the hot water line, and the entire line needs to be replaced. The plumber is supposed to be here as soon as he finishes another job, so in the mean time, we have no hot water. Sigh. But, I won't complain too much. At least we have running water and a warm place to live. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

When only the soul can hear

I had to pay a difficult visit today, and I'm writing this to work through some of my feelings. If this is a bit disjointed I apologize, so please bear with me...

One of my good friends is in grave condition in the ICU, and is not expected to live more than another couple of days. This friend and I worked together for seven years at an elementary school on the South side of town.

Not only were we coworkers, but we had a little bit of a cosmic connection. She and I lost our husbands within a few months of each other. She sat with me at the hospital as Andy fought for life, and in turn I sat with her. She attended Andy's services, and a short time later I was sitting at the Shrine Temple at her husband's memorial.

She kindly took me and my kids to the Shrine Circus during the early days of our loss. We cried together, laughed together at things that others probably would not find humorous... then, about the same time as I dipped my toe in the world of a new relationship, she also decided she was ready. She is warm, kind, artistic and funny, and it was no surprise to me that a new gentleman found the specialness in her. They married the weekend Art and I returned from our honeymoon.

I went to a different school assignment about 4 years ago, but we continued to call each other, always ending the conversation with "we need to get together and do something fun," but as so often happens, we got busy...and the "something fun" never happened.

When I visited today, I was able to relay something pleasant. I guess there really are no coincidences, because earlier that day while I was thinking about my upcoming visit, a 10th grader came into the clinic. It was a girl that I knew from when she was in elementary school... and my friend had been her kindergarten teacher! I have a lot of my former students, but not many from that elementary. The high school I'm at is a North side school, and the elementary is a South side school. But there she was, and she knew me! I asked if she remembered her former teacher, and her eyes lit up.

"Oh, Nurse Stephanie! She was my favorite teacher! She was always so nice!"

I shared that message to my friend in ICU, then reminisced for quite awhile and, even though she is in a coma, I swear she heard me. As a nurse, I know all about involuntary movements, but there was positively a brief change of expression and a tear in the corner of her eye. Medical science knows a lot about how the human body works, but not much about the soul.

As I prepared to leave, I did not say goodbye. I said, "I will see you again one of these days."

Then, because as long as there is life there is hope, I was thinking on one hand about her dear husband and our wonderful friends from the school. But on the other hand I thought about our loved ones on the other side. I told her, "Tell everybody I say 'Hi'."